Title: ROWDY DAYS OF DOM SANDERS
Word Count: 39,000
Genre: Upper MG Contemporary
12-year-old Dom’s summer’s getting better. He’s beaten up his rival, Taylor, and kissed the new girl in town, finally got his horse, and built an awesome fort in an abandoned forest service compound with his big bro. But while squirrel hunting, Dom sees the local outcast kill a deputy, and he’s pretty darn sure it’s related to the marijuana that seems to be all over town.
Unsure of whether the killer saw him run away, Dom pretends he didn’t see anything. That is until Taylor’s pocketknife and Dom’s boot prints, identical to Taylor’s, are found at the crime scene, and Taylor’s arrested.
Dom must decide whether to swallow his guilt and let an annoying, if innocent, jerk go to juvie, or take the stand and risk his own life and freedom by revealing what he knows. And worst of all, if he does the right thing this time, will he have to keep on doing them?
"We are going to live here?" my older brother Reed asked Mom. I heard their muffled voices as they stepped into the Manzanita Hill house.
"Dom!" I heard my mom holler.
I didn't answer.
I stayed as still as possible.
"Dominic Christopher!" she yelled again. She stepped into the second living room, a smallish area off the dining room where benches flanked a sooty brick fireplace. Then she moved closer to where my long legs were folded up into a tight hiding spot. "Dom, I know you are in here!"
"Maybe he ran out back already," Reed suggested.
Stifling a chuckle, I grinned at my snow white terrier Rosie crouched beside me in the shadows of the wood box.
"BOO!" I shouted as I sprung out from under the bench seat.
To my utter delight, they both jumped, screeching, "AHH!"
"Knock it off, you jerk!" Reed said, punching my arm as I climbed out. It barely hurt. Reed hits like a girl, but don't tell him I said so. You'd think the eighteen months he has on me would make him stronger or something. Nope.
"To answer your question, Reed, yes we are going to live here," Mom said as we eyeballed everything around us. "I know it's rough, but we can make it work."
"Hopefully before it rains," Reed muttered, glancing up at the ceiling.
When Dad first drove Ol' Red up to the house, I thought it looked like a place where a druggie might hide.